Wednesday, April 05, 2006

It's only natural

Not only is nature terribly pretty, but it is also an inexhaustible supply of nifty metaphors. Bears! Bulls! Stags locking horns! Mad hares, early-awakening birds, rabbits with ... certain enthusiasms.

Perhaps the best aspect of nature metaphors is that Nature is big. There is a (literal) smorgasbord of animals, trees, bugs and butterflies, flowers and fish to choose from. No matter what your metaphorical needs, you can pick one with attractive spin. Even pejoratives like shark still get to carry along all of the Cool Deadly Predator connotations that come with them.

Lately, I've been sleeping a lot. I've been eating oatmeal for three days straight because I can't be bothered to go to the store. I've been watching repeats of Star Trek: Voyager and a whole bunch of other daytime television not nearly as illustrious as my hero Capt Janeway and her ragtag crew. I've spent hours watching sparrows and dunnocks flirting in the garden and flitting around like they can't contain their excitement over the coming of spring. I creep out of my bed at supermodel hours, and later creep back in into the same hollow in the bedclothes I made earlier. I've had many strange technicolor dreams. I've curled on the sofa and let my mind wander over the inside of my brain until I can't remember how to spell. I've ignored snippy emails collecting in my inbox. I've unplugged the phone. I've taken hot baths and inspected my toenails.

I've eaten a lot of chocolate. I'd have eaten more, but fortunately getting out of the house to where they sell it often didn't seem worth the trouble.

It's been wonderful.

Naturally, the thing to say is that I am a chrysalis. Mental exhaustion set in as soon as I landed the job, and now I am sleeping inside my gorgeous, jewel-like cocoon, decorating the twig of a tree until I emerge to display my brilliant new colours to the world. These quiet moments inside my cocoon are natural ... indeed, essential! Without them, no metamorphosis.

Wouldn't it be lovely? It's a wonderful thought. Not only am I about to turn into a butterfly, but I am decorative as well. And moreover, this strange sofa-bound period is an indispensible component of My Future Growth™. But I confess. I don't buy it for a second. I think actually, I'm more like a big, white grub. Sitting in the cabbage patch, mindlessly chomping through someone's prize brassica. Chomp chomp chomp. There is nothing in the mind of the grub except The One True Cabbage. And best of all, the more Cabbage the grub eats, the less there is in the mind of the grub, until eventually, a massive surfeit of Cabbage rids the grub's mind utterly of any thoughts at all.

I can't wait. I'm not too sure how conducive this is to dissertation writing. But on the other hand, it seems to me that PhD theses have more than a few things in common with boring, single-minded fat white grubs. Pass the cabbage.


Scrivener said...

Who cares where you're headed, frankly? You got a good job! So take a bit of time, rest up and hang out. You deserve it.

Congratulations again!

Scrivener said...

Oh, um, by "where you're headed" I meant something more like "whether you're a chrysalis or a grub.

Xtin said...

Dude, thanks! Also, I think we can take "who cares where you're headed?" in pretty much every sense right now. Because ... who the hell knows?

Pass the cabbage ...

Heidi the Hick said...

I think whether you're a slug or a budding butterfly, it's perfectly fine to couch out for a while. I spent the last half of 2005 like that, and come to think of it, so far, most of 06. sometimes you need a break. Soak it up, darling, you'll get your chance to work like a fiend again soon.

Tom Bozzo said...

Ah, the 'supermodel' sleep schedule! It almost makes me nostalgic for the grad school days.

True story! By dint of a late rise, a very late bedtime, and a standard late afternoon nap, during those days I managed to be asleep nearly all the time when a housemate (a grad student in another department) was awake and we were in the house at the same time. This led to all sorts of laff riots over how I managed to keep my funding, etc. Not unironically, I managed to finish my PhD and my housemate, as far as I'm aware, didn't.

So, as Heidi says, soak it up. My time for working like a fiend resumes as soon as I click the 'login and publish' button...

LabsUs said...

Hi! I wish to know where was taken the photo that we can see when clicking on "terribly pretty".
Can somebody tell me, plz?
Thanks a lot!! :)
Great images!